Sunday, March 24, 2019


When does a cookie become candy? I made these "Millionaire Shortbreads" for a festive St. Patrick's Day party our friends, Steve and Debby Vis were throwing. I wanted to bring an Irish dessert so when I Googled Irish desserts this one popped up. I am not sure what is Irish about it, but according to what I read they are mad for these cookies in Ireland. I have been traveling to Ireland annually for nearly 30 years and have never seen these cookies or heard of them, but the recipe sounded delicious so I decided to give them a go! They do taste more like a candy bar and the combination of sweet and salty is very satisfying.

As you can see I have changed the name!

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

2 (11 oz.) packages caramel squares*
1/2 cup heavy cream

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli.)

Flaky sea salt for garnish (I used Maldon salt.)

*Of course you can make your own caramel, but using these candies sure did make this recipe fast and easy.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a 13 x 9" pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. I was out of parchment so used waxed paper and it worked fine.

Make shortbread layer: Cream softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and vanilla until a bread crumb texture forms. Press mixture into the prepared pan and prick all over with a fork. Take care when pricking as the shortbread is very crumbly. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack. Once cooled, invert pan, give a small tap on bottom to release the shortbread. Remove the parchment or waxed paper. Flip the shortbread over and place on a large cutting board to finish the cookies.

Make caramel layer: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the caramels and cream together until melted, about 10 minutes. Pour over shortbread crust. The most difficult part of this step is removing the caramels from their cellophane wrappers.

Make chocolate layer: Melt the chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second intervals and stir until smooth and shiny. Pour over caramel layer.
Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Remove from fridge. Score the bars marking the cuts you will eventually make and top with the flaky sea salt. This step is important as the bars are still pliable. Return to the fridge for another 10 minutes. Remove and cut completely through. Place on a serving tray and return to the refrigerator until 15 minutes before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers. These cookies freeze well, too.

My big brother, Skip, and his beautiful
wife, Esther were just here for a visit.
We did lots of fun cooking and eating!
Loved having them here in sunny Airzona!

Thursday, March 14, 2019


Recently I made a garlicky Miso Glazed Salmon that was really satisfying and delicious. I found different recipes online and then tweaked them into the following. I use the web for recipes now almost as often as my own massive cook book collection, and of course, I refer to COOK WITH CINDY! favorite source for recipes!

1 lb. wild salmon filet
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried ginger (I would've used fresh ginger root if I had it.)
1 Tbsp. miso paste
4 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. peanut oil

Combine soy sauce, honey, miso, ginger and garlic in a bowl and whisk well. Place marinade and salmon filet in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate in marinade for 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove salmon from marinade and bring to room temperature. Pour marinade in a heavy-bottomed skillet and heat until the sauce is somewhat reduced and thickened. It will be almost sticky. Remove the sauce from the pan with a rubber spatula.

In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp. of peanut oil and return to high heat. Once the oil is smoking hot, sear the skin side of salmon for about 3-4 minutes until you have a nice crispy crust. Turn and cook the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove to foil-lined pan, skin-side up. Place in oven for about 10 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Serve with the reduced sauce.

I served the Miso Glazed Salmon with Shishito Peppers marinated in a similar Asian sauce. Shisitos are a sweet, East Asian pepper, which I occasionally find in my local grocery store, but am sure specialty Asian markets carry them regularly. They are also grown and very popular in Mexico.

2 rounded cups Shishito Peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Hoisin

Marinate the peppers in the sauce for at least an hour or overnight. Add about 1 Tbsp. of peanut oil to a heavy-bottomed pan over high heat until smoking. Add the peppers and sear until slightly blackened; about 10 minutes. Add the marinade, which will spatter and steam up. Reduce heat and cook peppers over medium heat for another 5 minutes.

I also steamed broccoli in dark sesame oil and avocado-coconut oil with some chopped garlic until the broccoli was crisp-tender. Top with sesame seeds as a garnish if you like. And finally, I served with a bit of roasted sweet potato. Simple, healthy, and delicious meal!

That's going to do it for today,
but there is plenty more cooking ahead!
Stay tuned for another episode of: